Advance a Community through FSD's International Volunteer Program for Professionals


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The Foundation for Sustainable Development works with more than 250 partner organizations to create incremental, lasting change in communities around the world. With ProCorps Volunteering, participants help make that change happen through a hands-on volunteer experience. It's an intense, immersive program for professionals looking for a community to serve and a new perspective.

OVERVIEW

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For those with 5+ years of professional experience that could somehow be related to sustainable development, our ProCorps Volunteering program could be a unique next step. It’s the opportunity to work directly with one or more of our partner organizations, using a specific skill-set to address pressing community needs. This program is unique in the high level of project customization each participant is allowed—although we have many available project options, we are more than happy to help our ProCorps volunteers implement projects of their own design.

After several in-depth, pre-departure discussions with our team, the experience abroad begins with a brief in-country orientation led by FSD’s local site team. The orientation covers both theory (reiterating FSD’s asset-based community development model) and day-to-day details (such as how to navigate the local transit system). The site team then introduces volunteers to the relevant community partner contacts, and sets them loose.

We expect ProCorps volunteers to be very independent, quickly immersing themselves into the community and applying their skills. There is far less FSD site team involvement here than in any of our other programs, as each participant should already have the confidence and most of the tools needed to function effectively and make a large impact on a community-in-need. As with all FSD programs, the overall focus is always on community involvement, sustainability, and effectiveness. A crucial aspect of each project is skills transfer, meaning the volunteer provides organization and community members with the knowledge needed to make sure the new contributions will be sustained, lasting long after the volunteer returns home.

A ProCorps Volunteering experience can be as short as 1 month or as long as 1 year. The more time a participant is able to commit, the greater the impact can be.

LOCATIONS AND FOCUS AREAS

FSD has 10 sites in six countries: Argentina, Bolivia, India, Kenya, Nicaragua, and Uganda. Each location is unique in its culture, history, level of development, and more; all locations have demonstrated a willingness and ability to work with FSD to strengthen their local communities. Our site teams at each site actively build relationships with new and established host families and community partners to facilitate safe, culturally immersive, and developmentally impactful programs.

Each site has community partner organizations working in seven focus areas: Gender Equity, Equal Rights, Youth Development, Economic Development, Community Development, Health, and Environmental Sustainability. ProCorps volunteers work in the focus area that most aligns with their previous professional experiences, leading to the most developmentally impactful outcome for a community.

Chris Laurent worked in the financial sector for 14 years before volunteering with FSD’s ProCorps program. For 12 weeks he worked right outside Cochabamba, Bolivia, aiding the operational development of a struggling microfinance institution that supported rural farmers. After his experience in Bolivia, Chris returned to the United states and began a new career in international microfinance.

Fundraising and Financial Development Support in Rivas, Nicaragua

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WHAT: Casa de la Mujer is a well respected, long-standing organization that works towards gender equity and human rights. It offers important and critical services and programs for the communities of Rivas. As a non-governmental organization and non-profit, Casa de la Mujer survives financially on relationships with foreign friends and other organizations. Casa de la Mujer would greatly benefit from having someone come to work with them on grants, fundraising, and other creative methods to increase the financial stability of the organization that has become so important to the well being of women and children in Rivas.

WHERE: The ProCorps volunteer(s) selected will be based in the city of Rivas, Nicaragua. They will work in close collaboration with the team at Casa de la Mujer.

A GOOD CANDIDATE: Casa de la Mujer seeks consultants who have experience in fundraising, development work, and the financial bolstering of organizations. Do you have experience applying for grants? Are you a business savvy person who understands non-profits? Are you willing to share your skills and make them transferable? Can you handle working in a different culture as part of a cross-cultural team? Individuals, couples, groups of friends, and colleagues are encouraged to apply. Volunteers should speak intermediate Spanish.

See more ProCorps opportunities!

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